Each semester, students and faculty collaborate with community partners on projects that address local challenges. These partnerships involve local neighborhoods, school systems, non-profit agencies, businesses, associations, and initiatives. The following videos provide an in-depth look at how Ball State University students are working with the community to impact local challenges and how they benefit from these immersive learning experiences. The projects below took place during the 2020 - 2021 academic year. To see even more projects, check out the 2020-2021 Immersive Learning Virtual Showcase

Muncie Food Hub Mobile Farmer's Market

Student handling vegetablesThe Muncie Food Hub is a nonprofit that works to connect produce from farmers to Muncie Residents in food deserts. One component is the Mobile Farmers Market (MFM) which was developed as a step toward helping Muncie residents connect to fresh and healthy local food products. The MFM purchases produce from area farmers and sells it for affordable prices in low food access areas of town. It’s has been successful but is looking to increase its impact. It is doing this by working closer with the neighborhood associations and proving educational opportunities to the community. Blog Post | Video

That One Film Festival

Computer Screen with film festival brandingThat One Film Festival is a biennial festival of experimental moving picture art put on by an immersive learning class in the School of Art and the Muncie Arts and Culture Council. Started in 2018, this second iteration was originally scheduled to happen in the spring of 2020 but due to COVID-19, was moved online and took place on September 11 & 12, 2020. The group introduced a chat as videos streamed, letting audience members speak directly with filmmakers and each other from the comfort of their home and by going virtual this year, the event was able to reach a much larger audience.  Blog Post | Video

Philosophy Outreach Project

Student writes on chalkboardThe Philosophy Outreach Project is a Ball State immersive project that gets Indiana high school students thinking about philosophy through student groups, online resources, and an annual conference. While working with schools across the state of Indiana, the Philosophy Outreach has an ongoing partnership with Muncie High School with weekly club meetings focusing on such topics as medical ethics, epistemology, feminism, and more. Due to COVID-19, they have had to adapt to working virtually.   Blog Post | Video

Industry Neighborhood Action Plan

Student shows off map to residentsUrban Planning students are working with the Industry Neighborhood and the Urban Light Community Development Corporation to create an action plan for the Neighborhood Association. The students walked the neighborhood to gather data of the area and worked with the residents to get their options through a series of meetings. They gathered data in the neighborhood, which included looking at the conditions of streets, sidewalks, street lights, and other infrastructure-related items. They are also identified problems and opportunities through discussions with the neighborhood residents. Blog Post | Video

Midwestern Stories

Student holds up and looks at paperThe Midwestern Stories project is a two part immersive learning project. This first semester, students are looking at representation of the midwestern past in literature and creating podcasts looking at living in the midwest. Next semester, students will look at the current representation of the present Midwest and create an exhibit for Minnetrista – an experience that preserves the history and tells a compelling story about the Midwest. Blog Post | Video


Dual Language Immersive Project

Computer Screen with children's book on it. In this immersive project, students in two different Spanish classes worked with the Dual Language Immersive Program at West View Elementary, creating a mentoring relationship with students there to work on their Spanish and creating a promotional pamphlet to promote the program. Blog Post |  Video


Interior Design at Children's TherAplay Foundation 

A student works on a computerIn the fall of 2020, Interior design students continued working on a multi-year collaboration with the Children's TherAplay Foundation in Carmel, Indiana to design sensory furniture for the patients there and observe its use in therapy. Children's TherAplay is a nonprofit hippotherapy clinic. The Ball State students involved in this project are helping redesign the TherAplay facility and creating engaging toys and sensory furniture. Students get to visit the nonprofit to make observations and adjust their designs accordingly. Blog Post | Video

Glass Design: Technology and Industry

A student blows glassArchitecture and glass students combined on this project to learn from each other about the industrial glass process and create designs for a donor wall at Minnetrista in Muncie. These designs incorporated Ball Company history and inspirations drawn from the city of Muncie. They were also able to learn from various industry professionals through video calls.  Video


Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

A student in a mask looks at a computerStance is an International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal run by Ball State students currently working on its 14th volume. Students run every facet of the journal. Award winning, Stance has received the American Philosophical Association/Philosophy Documentation Center Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs, the American Scholastic Press Association Award for Best University Journal, and the Ball State University Immersive Learning Award. Video | Website


Writing for Change

Students sit in class on a zoom callWhile most immersive learning projects use students from the upper levels, this particular project encompassed first year students in the beginning composition and rhetoric English classes. The students in three different sections worked with their partners over the course of two semesters to provide rhetorical assistance, suggestions on program improvement, and additional content. The partners consisted of YWCA of Muncie, Muncie Mission, and Beyond I Can. This year served as a pilot and will continue in future academic years. Video

Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Recipe Bank Demonstration Videos

Student cooks a meal while recording it in cameraIn the project, dietetics and nutrition students teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank to create recipe demonstrations using foods commonly distributed at tailgates and other food distribution sites across their eight counties. The students first volunteered so as to gain an understanding of the type of foods distributed. Using cellphones, lights, and other filmmaking aides, they created their recipes along with video cooking demonstrations, recipe cards, and other supplemental material such as children activities and games. Video

Studio 165+

A student works on the computer. A stuffed dinosaur is in the foreground. Helping to dispel a misconception that good design and branding can only happen in big cities, Studio 165+ spends over one hundred sixty-five minutes each week partnering with local organizations to provide branding and visual design. Partners have included Queer Chocolatier, the Yorktown Fire Department, Building Better Neighborhoods, and a series of neighborhoods throughout Muncie, such as Riverside-Normal City or Halteman Village. Video | Website


Henry Gets Moving

A student holds up a food tray in front of an upraised handIn this immersive learning project, students in exercise science worked with Burris Elementary to participate in a national program, Henry Gets Moving. The program encourages healthy eating and being active and moving. The Ball State students met with the Burris students each week to read the Henry Gets Moving storybook, do workbook activities, and to do a series of exercises and physically active games. On the final day, they were joined by Charlie Cardinal. Video


Cardinal Wellness - A Community Intervention

A person is undergoing a height measurement In this ongoing immersive project, a mixture of students from the College of Health work with a weekly Cardinal Zumba program to do health assessments for those who participate. They conduct height and weight measurements, hip to waist ratios, blood pressure, and more. Healthy foods are prepared for the workout attendees.  Video


Midwestern Stories Exhibit

Three students hang up a poster"What is the midwest?" "What defines it?" "Who are the people there?" Building off the fall portion of the project, students continued their exploration of the midwest, working with Minnetrista to create an exhibit that explored those questions. They conducted interviews and looked at popular media such as Stranger Things or Parks and Recreation. They had a successful opening at the end of April. Video


Sociology Capstone with Second Harvest

A students conducts a survey outside a carWorking with Second Harvest food bank, students in a sociology capstone course looked at the Big Idea program which works with schools in East Central Indiana counties to provide food and other informational needs. Impacted by COVID, this program become more vital than ever. Students became familiar with the program and Second Harvest and conducted surveys and interviews to determine satisfaction with the program and suggest improvements. Video


Putting Downtown Muncie on the Map

A map is displayed on a projector screen with a head in front of itMany people in Muncie, particularly Ball State students are unaware of what the downtown area of Muncie has to offer in terms of restaurants, bars, art, and entertainment. Downtown Muncie Development and Muncie Map Company partnered with a geography class to create a variety of maps for downtown covering food and beverage, walking paths, history, artworks, and picturesque locations. Many of these can built upon by future cohorts of students. Video 


Beneficence Family Scholars Rebrand 

Two students look at a cameraIn this immersive learning project, student worked with a nonprofit that had been born out of a Virginia Ball Center seminar, Beneficence Family Scholars and then existed independently to do a rebrand to something that would resonate more with its constituents. The organization works with single parents who would like to further their education. They chose the new name, The Family Alliance. Additionally, they student team created video content for the organization. Video


Conservation Tales

Over a shoulder looking at a painting of butterflies This immersive learning project combines science and art, which often go together, to create a series of children's books that showcases wildlife conservation and contains teachable moments.  An ongoing project, this iteration looked at monarch butterflies and invasive carp in the midwest. Students plan and conduct every aspect of the books. Video | Website